IRS official takes the 5th at congressional hearing
Lois Lerner leaves the House Oversight Committee's hearing Wednesday after refusing to answer the panel's questions.
May 22nd, 2013
10:55 AM ET

IRS official takes the 5th at congressional hearing

An Internal Revenue Service official who headed the division involved in targeting conservative groups invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination Wednesday and refused to answer questions from a congressional committee.

Lois Lerner read a statement at a House Oversight Committee hearing that declared she did nothing wrong and broke no laws before saying she would not answer any questions.

"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations," Lerner said, adding that she never misled or lied to Congress, as contended by some legislators.

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Filed under: Politics
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    Undoubtedly this issue needs to be investigated thoroughly & the admn has to come clean. However over reacting would be very unwise for those trying to make political hay over this scandal.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Daddio

      "Make political hay over this scandal"? Did you really intend to write that? There is concerted coercive action between executive agencies to bring the weight and power of government upon Americans exercising their most basic first amendment right, and you endeavor to minimize and dismiss it as "political hay"? So I guess a military coup d'etat or secret police hauling political dissidents off to the gulag would be "Make political hay over this scandal"? Wow.

      May 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat)©

    The stockbroker received notice from the IRS that he was being audited. He
    showed up at the appointed time and place with all his financial records,
    then sat for what seemed like hours as the accountant poured over them.

    Finally the IRS agent looked up and commented, "You must have been a
    tremendous fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."

    "Why would you say that?" wondered the broker.

    "Because you've made more brilliant deductions on your last three returns
    than Sherlock Holmes made in his entire career."

    May 22, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat)©

    A businessman on his deathbed called his friend and said, "Bill, I want you
    to promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremated."

    "And what," his friend asked, "Do you want me to do with your ashes?"

    The businessman said, "Just put them in an envelope and mail them to the
    Internal Revenue Service and write on the envelope, "Now you have

    May 22, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Home of the free Land of the brave Hahaha

    The most transparent government ever: Holder on fast & furious, "Uh, I know nothing..."; Clinton on Benghazi, "Uh, I know nothing..." Miller on 501(c)(3) applications, "Uh, I know nothing..." On the one hand, this is not instilling confidence in federal government competence. On the other hand, the fifty-one percent 0bama voters couldn't care less so long as the free stuff keeps flowing. It is truly sad to behold how far we have fallen.

    May 22, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Agusta Wind

    To sum it up ... America will have to go into rehab after Obama done with us! ;(

    May 22, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Good morning @bobcat & thanks for a much needed cause to smile.

    May 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Agusta Wind

    All 3 slam dunks @ bobcat (in a hat)©

    May 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    I meant every word I wrote@Daddio.
    As happens with political scandals in every admn there are those who would capitalize on these to make hay.

    May 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hamsta

    I hate to say I told you so but I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!. Barrack Hussien Obama will go down in history as THE ABSOLUTE WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY, I told you that too.

    May 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      (Imagine me imitating the Major from Fawlty Towers in the "Waldorf Salad" episode.)

      NO. I WON'T HAVE THAT. Jimmy Carter was much worse.

      May 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    As for our civil liberties its acts like UMF (Use of military force) the Patriot Act and recently the voter suppression & addendum to defense act that have compromised our way of life.Wake up.

    May 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      Bush used that to protect American citizens from the enemy, Obama used that to declare American citizens as the enemy.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agusta Wind

      @ saywhat, the senate is currently debating an expansion of the already broad powers of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) so the U.S. can essentially engage any area in the world in the war on terror, including America.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agusta Wind

      @ hamsta, I'm afraid this goes all the way back to Nixon thru to our current President... all continuing on the same "thread" . Guess what that is.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat


    May 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Agusta Wind

    Senator Angus King said this interpretation of the AUMF is a “nullity” to the Consti tution because it ignores Congress’ role to declare war. King called it the “most astoundingly disturbing hearing” he’s been to in the Senate.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Agusta Wind

    But perhaps most disturbing of all of this is the military’s authority to police American streets as if it was in civil war. For all those still in denial that America is a militarized police state, this should be the ultimate cure to your delusion

    May 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Agusta Wind

    Jeff Morey of AlterNet writes:
    By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code t itled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clue phone

      The military has granted itself? The military writes laws, changing US Code? Apparently you're referencing Posse Comitatus, implemented by Rutherford B Hayes after the Civil War, not exactly two centuries but I'll grant you one and a half.

      May 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agusta Wind

      Yes @ Clue phone. As I'm sure everyone knows that law was originally put in place to prevent the Department of Defense from interfering with local law enforcement. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. all soldiers take an oath to defend the Const itution against all enemies “foreign and domestic” indicating that citizens are a threat to the Const itution.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agusta Wind

      Yet, the Const itution is a doc ument that polices the government, not the people. In other words, the only people who can be “enemies” of the Const itution are those who took an oath to defend it. Therefore, only government officials can be an enemy the Const itution.

      May 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    constantly being blocked.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
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